Green Energy Investment Surges

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    Global green energy investment surged in 2014, after two years of decline, says a report backed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The surge is due to a solar boom in China and Japan and record offshore wind investment in Europe. Renewables investment reached $270.2 billion last year, 16.6 per cent above 2013 investment of $231.8 billion. The surge follows two years of declining investment due to lower prices for renewable technologies and was just three per cent below the all-time high of $279 billion in 2011. Solar power accounted for $149.6 billion of total investment, while wind power accounted for $99.5 billion. China and Japan invested $74.9 billion between them in solar in 2014, almost half the global total, while Europe accounted for $16.2 billion of the global offshore wind investment total of $18.6 billion. However, it says although 2014 was a turnaround year for renewables after two years of shrinkage, challenges remain such as policy uncertainty and structural issues in the electricity system arising from increasing amounts of wind and solar in the generation mix.